Computational Biology (BS)


Effective 1 June 2016 through 31 May 2017

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program offered by College of Arts & Sciences/Biological Sciences Department

Program Description 

The bachelor of science in computational biology is a rigorous degree designed for students who seek cross-disciplinary education in biology, math, and computer science. The program provides the student with a broad scientific foundation suitable immediately upon graduation for careers in biological information analysis in fields like: bioinformatics, the biotechnology industry, medicine, research in computational biology or bioinformatics, healthcare, or the chemical and molecular disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the computational biology program, students will be able to:

  • Describe and explain the core principles of biology, chemistry, and information systems, as they relate to the living world.
    • Quantify matter, energy, and molecules of living organisms and describe their roles in life processes.
    • Describe the central dogma of biological information storage, transmission, and expression in living organisms.
    • Explain processes underlying population diversity and evolution. 
    • Analyze the origin and rationale of large datasets and determine which molecular processes of living organisms are informed by such data.
    • Integrate the core principles of biology, chemistry, and information systems to critique a scientific work in writings and/or presentations.
  • Locate, access, assess and manipulate large biological datasets in a responsible manner, and identify the ethical ramifications of the data interpretation.
    • Identify what biological processes different types of large datasets inform, and describe the advantages and limitations of the data types.
    • Be able to locate, access, format and manipulate large datasets for computational analyses.
    • Maintain a high level of honesty and integrity in all scientific work by accurately reporting original data, methods, and results for all experiments done.
    • Give proper credit and references when using the work of other researchers.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply relevant analyses to biological datasets, evaluate significance, and integrate the results with core principles.
    • Use computers as a tool for doing research, gathering data, analyzing data, and presenting results.
    • Apply the scientific method to experimental design and data interpretation; design and implement proper controls for computational analysis and statistical evaluation.
    • Research and relate information taken from multiple sources in the scientific literature to the use of large datasets.
  • Design and execute a research plan, interpret the results, and communicate the scientific information in a responsible manner, to grow as a global citizen.
    • Use a dataset that informs a specific process in the life sciences or biological information systems to formulate hypotheses and predictions.
    • Curate data responsibly; format data and perform computational analyses.
    • Interpret results using probability and statistics to make conclusions. Predict if/how the interpretation might impact individuals and/or populations globally, and recognize potential global ethical issues. Present oral project summary and/or written report documentation of project.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 128 credit hours consisting of the following:

  • 80 required credit hours
  • 3 international language requirement credit hours
  • Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours
  • Electives


Core Courses (45 hours)

  • BIOL 1550, 1551 Essentials of Biology I (5 hours)
  • BIOL 1560, 1561 Essentials of Biology II (5 hours)
  • BIOL 2010 Evolution (3 hours)
  • BIOL 3050, 3051 Genetics (4 hours)
  • BIOL 4400 Research Methods (3 hours)
  • BIOL 4430 BS Senior Thesis (4 hours)
  • CHEM 1100, 1101 General Chemistry I (4 hours)
  • CHEM 1110, 1111 General Chemistry II (4 hours)
  • CHEM 2100, 2101 Organic Chemistry I (4 hours)
  • CHEM 3100, 3101 Biochemistry I (4 hours)
  • MATH 1610 Calculus I (5 hours)

Biology Courses (11 hours)

  • BIOL 1580 Introduction to Computational Biology (1 hour)
  • BIOL 3600 Synthetic Biology - BioBlocks (3 hours)
  • BIOL 4050 Gene Expression (3 hours)
  • BIOL 4800 Computational Biology (4 hours)

Math and Computer Science Courses (21 hours)

  • COSC 1550 Computer Programming I (3 hours)
  • COSC 1560 Computer Programming II (3 hours)
  • COSC 1570 Math for Computer Science (3 hours)
  • COSC 2810 Systems Analysis and Design (3 hours)
  • COSC 4110 Database Concepts (3 hours)
  • STAT 3100 Inferential Statistics (3 hours)
  • MATH 3610 Probability (3 hours)

One of the following courses:

  • MATH 3210, Data Mining Foundations (3 hours)
  • MATH 3220, Data Mining Methods (3 hours)


Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.